Eurispes basket: double standards (2004)
The average Italian family cannot make it to the end of the month on employment income alone. Prices are one of the two blades of the scissor between which the Italian family finds itself squeezed. The other blade is the income the family manages to earn. The shopping basket compiled by Eurispes aims to compare the income of a young family with the expenses it has to incur to provide for all its needs and maintain a decent standard of living. To do this, Eurispes, first of all, identified a reference family as a relatively young couple (38 years old, he, 30 years old, she) with two children (a boy of 8 and a girl of 6). It is, therefore, an ideal family if compared with the statistical average of the Italian demographic universe, but very representative in dynamic terms, in the sense that many families in our country (perhaps the majority) have found or will find themselves in the future in this type of numerical and registry composition. On the other hand, the families chosen by the Institute are in any case very numerous: at present, families of four people account for 22% of families and represent 33% of the population; while families with the highest income earner aged between 31 and 40 years are one-fifth of all Italian families. Once the reference family had been identified, a balance sheet of its material and spending needs was drawn up.
This balance sheet was compiled by identifying, first of all, nine expenditure aggregates into which the household’s needs were divided: men’s clothing; women’s clothing; children’s clothing; school and other children’s activities; rent and current household consumption; durable and semi-durable household goods; health and hygiene; leisure and holidays; food, drinks and tobacco.
Monthly expenditure was then compared with the income of four typical households, representative of different employment situations.
The shopping basket compiled by Eurispes aims to compare the income of a young family with the expenses it actually has to bear in order to provide for all its needs and maintain a decent living standard.